As an expense report solution, we see some funny things sent in to act as a receipt. When it comes to expense reports, the whole reason receipts are needed is to provide adequate evidence of travel, entertainment, gift, or transportation expenses. What, technically, is an adequate expense? 

According to the IRS, “documentary evidence ordinarily will be considered adequate if it shows the amount, date, place, and essential character of the expense.” Decide for yourself whether these meet the requirements of a “receipt” with these funny expense report fails.

  1. The Napkin:

    It has the date, the restaurant, and the amount, but technically doesn’t prove that money was spent specifically at this restaurant since it’s possible to get a napkin from a restaurant without paying anything.

    time and expense tracking with a napkin

  2. The Gas Pump:

    This one has the amount spent and the kind of expense, but no other context like date or time. It’s possible that the gas pump has run out of paper and that’s why someone would prefer to take a picture of the pump. However, we’d advise that you go inside and ask for a real receipt if you want to be reimbursed.

    gas station pump with numbers used for time and expense tracking

  3. The Map:

    Proving mileage can be a real challenge. According to the IRS, “You can satisfy the requirements by recording the length of the delivery route once, the date of each trip at or near the time of the trips, and the total miles you drove the car during the tax year. You could also establish the date of each trip with a receipt, record of delivery, or other documentary evidence.”

    map with red marking used as time and expense tracking 

    What probably won’t work, then, is just this map, with a route highlighted, without any other context or information. A spreadsheet would probably work better here.

  4. Picture of a Screen:

    This picture of someone’s email is an interesting case because technically, this is an email with confirmation of a lunch order. But, the strange part is why a picture was taken of it instead of just forwarding the email itself. In any case, we had to enjoy this one because it could have been much simpler.

    a computer screen with catering order used for time and expense reporting

  5. A Receipt That Isn’t A Receipt

    This receipt is just a picture of a five dollar bill as proof of a tip. But, this certainly doesn’t count as a receipt because required information is not provided. There’s no date, kind of purchase, or any other context. There’s a picture of what might be a napkin or just a piece of paper, but there’s no real information, making this one of the funniest non-receipts we’ve seen.

    time and expense tracking with a $5 bill

Related Article: Expense Reporting In 20 Years: Our Expense Report Predictions For 2037

Those are the interesting ones we’ve seen, but we’ve also heard of some strange things submitted from around the internet. Here’s a gathering of other strange, fun, and just plain weird receipts from around the world.

  1. Taiwanese Receipts/Lottery Tickets:

    According to the Guide To Taipei, every receipt in Taiwan is also a lottery ticket featuring a barcode at the top of each receipt, which can be used to confirm a winning ticket. The site says that “the bi-monthly lottery was created to encourage legal tax reporting by giving consumers an incentive to purchase at stores that legally report sales taxes.”

    taiwan receipt and lottery ticket used as expense reporting systems

  2. Handwritten Receipts From Businesses:

    A receipt from a Subway in England appeared on the internet in a TripAdvisor review. According to the review, the reviewer “had to ask for a receipt and the girl hand wrote one.” The receipt looks like it’s been written on the back of regular receipt paper, so maybe there was a malfunction with the printer.

    time and expense reporting with a handwritten subway receipt

    In any case, this is an interesting one from August 2016 because it was provided from the restaurant in a way that looks like it could have been written by the customer. Would your company accept this as a receipt, even if it was accompanied by this story?

  3. Math That Doesn’t Add Up:

    This next receipt comes from a Redditor who says that they flat-out denied the expense report associated with this receipt when it came across their desk. The details look right, but something does seem off, doesn’t it?

    a receipt used as time and expense reporting

    The math isn’t quite adding up here. Even we’re stumped about how this person ended up with this total of $47.79.

RECEIPT & FUNNY expense report FAILS: Share Yours

Based on the definition of a receipt from the IRS, maybe these receipt fails show us that what really constitutes a receipt could be up for debate. We hope you’ll share with us the #FunnyReceipts you come across with us on Twitter, and be sure to tag us @DATABASICSinc!

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DATABASICS provides cloud-based, next generation Expense Reporting,
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